India registers another biggest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases

Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-24 14:33:27|Editor: huaxia

NEW DELHI, May 24 (Xinhua) -- India on Sunday reported 6,767 cases, another biggest single-day spike, in COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, pushing infection tally across the country to 131,868, federal health ministry said.

According to the ministry data, the death toll has risen to 3,867 after 147 people succumbed in the last 24 hours.

This is for the third time since Friday that the tally of COVID-19 cases has surged beyond 6,000.

On Saturday, 6,654 new cases were registered with a span of 24 hours, while as, on Friday, 6,088 new cases were recorded in the single day.

Globally, India is the 11th on the list of affected countries in terms of total infections.

The easing of restrictions with the announcement of the fourth phase of lockdown in the country has seen an increasing trend in the new cases.

Health experts attribute the spike in cases to the increase in India's testing capacity and easing of restrictions.

"As travel eases, cases will continue to rise. Surge in cases in areas of low transmission is mostly due to import from other areas. Syndromic Surveillance and Testing has to be strengthened at every level. Most parts of India are susceptible. To reduce mortality, detect every case," Dr. Giridhar R Babu, professor and head lifecourse epidemiology at Indian Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru wrote on social media.

Over the last two months, India has increased its testing capacity by 100 times - from 1,000 tests per day in March to 100,000 daily tests this month.

"India has expanded testing greatly. Yet, there is huge scope to increase testing in some states. Syndromic approach coupled with testing will provide better results. This will define the success of efficient containment efforts," he said.

As per India's top health research body - Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) until Sunday morning over 2.94 million samples have been tested. The research body said during the last 24 hours, 108,623 samples were tested.

In India, the state of Maharashtra continues to report the highest number of cases, followed by Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The national capital Delhi retains the fourth position.

Meanwhile, while the federal civil aviation ministry is all set to resume the domestic flight operations from Monday, three Indian states Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra have urged government to rethink its decision on resumption of flights.

"It's extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate without taking swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add COVID-19 stress to red zone," Maharashtra health minister Anil Deshmukh wrote on social media.

The federal civil aviation ministry has also announced to resume the international flight operations before August.

Sunday marks the 61st straight day of ongoing lockdown across the country to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The lockdown, which was announced to break the chain of spreading the infection on March 25 is likely to end on May 31.

Earlier this month the director of India's premier health institute - All India Institute of Medical Sciences Dr Randeep Guleria said COVID-19 cases are likely to peak in the month of June and July in the country. Enditem